manual focus

Why it’s important to know how to use manual focus

If you are using a compact camera, it is possible not to have the possibility to focus manually. If you are using a DSLR, it is possible to be happy with the automatic focus. But manual focus function is important and has many fans. There are some little details that can only be done using this function.

It isn’t hard to handle it. Usually, cameras have a focus ring on the lens which allows you to choose what you want to be in focus. An alternative, you can try again and again until the automatic focus reads your mind and focus on the desired subject. Here is a list of situations when manual focus is really important.

Low light conditions

When it is too dark for the camera to find a subject to focus on, it will simply refuse to do the picture. In this situation, even if you can handle the exposure, you cannot convince your camera to shoot a sharp picture. Manual focus function uses your eyes and in some conditions, they are better than the camera’s eyes.

Multiple subjects

When you have multiple subjects close together, the camera will choose one in an arbitrary mode. If you want something different, you have to try several times before convincing the camera to do the right choice. This can take a while. Using manual focus allows to take control and focus on the desired subject from the first try

A distracting foreground

Sometimes, your subject is behind a window, bars, or other obstacles that distract your camera. It will ignore you and will continue to focus on the foreground don’t matter what. Manual focus gives you the power to focus on what is best for your composition.

Close-up or macro photography

When you do close-up photography it may be necessary to get real close to your subject. At some point, the autofocus will become impossible. Manual focus allows you to move near the subject or away from it until you find the best focus point.

Fast moving subjects

When your subject is moving too quickly, but you know where it is going to be at some moment, you can predict the moves and pre-focus. Manual focus gives you the possibility of focusing on the area where the action will take place. Half-press the shutter button to allow the camera to make its settings. After that, you just have to wait for the picture to happen. This technique is called shutter lag and it is frequently used in sports like biking, motor racing, athletics, horse racing etc.

Intentional blur

There are situations when you really want that blurred atmosphere, that romantic air, that fuzzy moon. Fog isn’t there to help you, so you have to fake a blur effect. This is something that autofocus doesn’t understand. Artistic photography uses intentional blur as a way of expressing feelings. By using manual focus, you can introduce the amount of blur you choose to. There is no perfect photography, there is only the photography that moves you.

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